On July 26, the Yemeni Air Force [loyal to the Houthis] announced in an official statement that it had tested a new armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) named “Samad-3”. According to the statement, the international airport of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, was successfully bombed with the new UAV during the test.
Minutes after the Yemeni Air Force statement, the official twitter account of the Abu Dhabi international airport announced that an incident involving a supply vehicle occurred in “Terminal 1.” The airport administration stressed that the incident has not affected the airport’s operations.
“Abu Dhabi Airports will continue to monitor the situation with the concerned authorities and further updates will be made available in due course,” the administration of the Abu Dhabi airport said in a tweet.
Last week, the Yemeni Air Force used a similar UAV named “Samad-2” to target a refinery of the Saudi Aramco oil company in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. The new UAV, Samad-3, is likely an upgraded version of the one used to attack the Riyadh Refinery.
The July 26 incident was the first successful attack by the Houthis on UAE territory since the outbreak of the Yemeni war in 2015. Last year, the Yemeni group attempted to targeted the Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi with a cruise missile. However, the missile suffered from a technical failure and landed in northern Yemen.
The attack will likely have a huge economical impact on the UAE, as shipping and transportation is a big sector of the country’s market. The Abu Dhabi airport itself is considered a main transportation hub in the Middle East and Western Asia.